Tantalising trio and a sad farewell

December 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

And so our last three semi-finalists entered the Dinner Diva kitchen with much trepidation and a definite sense of determination.  It was their last shot at securing a spot in the finals and they took it seriously!  Bearing witness to this battle was pure joy for the senses.  Janice made such a delicious Italian menu, judge Aubrey couldn’t let go of the Insalata di Frutti di Mare, and made our kitchen keep his portion away from the crew!  Nina tempted us with her fabulously decadent menu and showed off some serious baking skills.  And darling Kristy, who already won everybody’s hears over in episode one, created a beautiful modern Christmas lunch.  She even made her own Christmas decorations (which never made it to the table).

Over the last three episodes, the judges scored seven semi-finalists and the top scores went to Janice Tripepi, Anél Potgieter and Kristy Snell!  Congratulations to these Divas!  It was a sad farewell to Nina, and to all the Divas who did not make it through, we witnessed your passion and determination and hope that your blogs will continue to grow from strength to strength.

Kristy vs. Janice vs. Anél

Here are some recipes, with permission from Janice, Nina & Kristy exactly as they wrote them.

Janice’s Insalata di Frutti di Mare (Seafood Salad)

  • 1kg prawns peeled and deveined
  • 500g cleaned and chopped calamari
  • 5 celery sticks – sliced finely
  • 1 red onion chopped finely
  • 5 cloves of garlic crushed
  • Salt
  • Cracked black Pepper
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 2 bunch of parsley finely chopped
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • The juice of 6 lemons
  • 1 ciabatta loaf
  • 100g of butter

Place the prawns into a pot and cover with cold water and 1tsp of salt.  Do the same with the calamari.  Bring each pot to the boil on the stove top.  The moment that the water comes to the boil, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the stove.  Leave both pots uncovered to cool down slowly; this will result in tender prawns and calamari for your salad. 

In the meantime you can make your dressing.   Finely slice the celery and finely chop the red onion and parsley.  Place into a bowl with the crushed garlic, lemon juice, 2tsp salt, 2 – 3tsp cracked black pepper and sugar.  Give the dressing a good stir and while your seafood is cooling down cover and place in the refrigerator.  Taste the dressing and season according to your taste, the success of any dish is about tasting and adjusting the flavour to please your pallet.

Once your prawns and calamari have cooled, drain off the water using a colander and add to the dressing.  Give this a good stir and keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.  This celebration of seafood keeps very well, and can be made in advance which gives all of the flavours time to infuse and get to know each other.  

Serve in tea cups with some toasted crostini. 

Serves 6 – 8 people 

Nina’s Mini Bacon Quiche

  • 250 g streaky back bacon – chopped
  • 300 g mature cheddar – coarsely grated
  • 4 Nulaid egg yolks – left over from Meringue roulade
  • 2 spring onions chopped
  • 4 Nulaid eggs – lightly beaten
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • A pinch of salt
  • Micro herbs

Preheat oven to 180C. Heat a pan on the stove and fry the bacon until crispy. Remove from the fat and allow to cool. In the meantime, mix the cheese, spring onion, egg yolks and eggs together. Add the bacon and mix. Spray a muffin pan with Spray ‘n Cook and spoon mixture into the 12 muffin moulds. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the quiches are firm to the touch. Remove and serve with some micro herbs. 

Ideal for the tea table, but also perfect for lunch boxes. 

Makes 12 

Kristy’s Apple Tarte Tatin

  • 400g caster sugar
  • 185g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges (cut each apple into 8ths)
  • 500g all-butter pastry
  • 125g double cream
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • whipping cream, to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 

Place 200g of caster sugar into an oven-proof frying pan (roughly 24cm in diameter) and place the pan over a medium heat. Allow the sugar to caramelise, do not stir until the sugar has turned to liquid (stirring cools the sugar down and can create sugar crystals). Once liquid, stir and then add 100g of the butter, mix until the sugar and butter are well combined. 

Arrange the apple wedges around the pan, try to pack them in as tightly as possible. Remove from heat and remove the cinnamon stick. 

Now, roll out your pastry to the thickness of about 4mm and cut a circle 3cm larger than the your pan of apples. Place the pastry on top of your apples, making sure to tuck the pastry down the edges of the pan. Place the pan in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown in colour. 

While the tarte tatin is in the oven, place the double cream in a small pan over a medium heat and allow to heat through.

At the same time, place the remaining 200g of sugar into a saucepan over a medium heat and allow to caramelise, as above, then add the remaining 85g of butter. Mix, then slowly add in the heated cream (it is best to add the cream in three stages). 

Remove the tarte tatin from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes – this will thicken the caramel, making it easier to turn out. Place a plate (larger than the diameter of your pan) over the pan and turn the pan upside down onto the plate. 

Drizzle over the cream and butter mixture and serve the tarte tatin with whipped cream on the side.

Watch Saturday, 8h30 on SABC 2 to see our top three in action, and you can find more delicious Diva recipes on I Love Cooking.

Until later this week!  Have a great one :)

Michele

 

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